Dear Friends and Neighbors,
State lawmakers have spent the past several days, and a few late nights, debating and voting on bills. That's because another important deadline is now in the rearview mirror. House of origin cutoff was yesterday, Wednesday, March 8 at 5 p.m. That deadline was the last opportunity for bills introduced in the House to be passed to the Senate and vice versa.
Why it matters: Because of this milestone, hundreds of bills have been effectively “killed.” In fact, the legislative graveyard is now riddled with good and bad proposals.
Notable exceptions: Bills considered necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) are never completely dead. They are exempt from normal cutoff rules. In fact, they sometimes (and often are) resurrected, rising from their graves with frightening regularity. Whether a bill is NTIB is entirely the call of the majority party, specifically the Speaker.
What's next? After hearing and debating hundreds of bills in the days and late nights leading up to this deadline, it's important that I share an update with you on what's passed and what hasn't.
My upcoming town hall: Please consider joining me and my co-hosts, Rep. Matt Boehnke and Rep. April Conners, for an in-person 8th District town hall meeting. We'll be sharing reports on the bills and policies recently decided in Olympia, answering questions, and listening to your feedback.
- When: Saturday, March 11, 2–3:30 p.m.
- Where: The event takes place at The Arc of Tri-Cities, 1455 Fowler St., Richland, WA 99352.
Watch my recent legislative update inviting constituents to my town hall and an update on my bills:
Some of my bills are moving to the Senate: I'm thrilled that three of the bills I've sponsored are now advancing to the Senate.
House Bill 1584 would require advanced nuclear reactor technology to be considered, along with other carbon-neutral energy alternatives, when setting the state's energy goals.
Call to action: I need your help to get this bill approved in the Senate. The bill has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee on Friday, March 10 at 8 a.m.
How you can help:
- Testify in person during the hearing.
- Testify remotely during the hearing.
- Note your position for the legislative record.
- Submit your written testimony.
House Bill 1645 is an idea that was requested by our district. This measure is a simple change that would allow local commissioners to host one meeting a month outside of their county seat.
Background: According to current law, commissioners must host their meetings within the county seat. In areas where the county seat is smaller in population than the surrounding areas, like Prosser and the more populous areas of Kennewick and Richland, this can be difficult to accommodate.
Why it matters: My bill would increase citizen participation by allowing at least one meeting to be held in a more populous area.
Current status: The measure has been referred to the Senate Local Government, Land Use and Tribal Affairs Committee. It has not (yet) been given a hearing date.
Want to learn more?
House Bill 1685 would require stand-alone dental plans to bring denturists into their networks.
Background: Many of the larger dental plans, like Delta Dental, recognize denturists and pay them. As more managed dental plans enter the state, we find they are not including denturists in their networks. This creates significant access to care concerns for enrollees. This bill fixes that.
Current status: The measure has been referred to the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee. It has not (yet) been given a hearing date.
Want to learn more?
Feel free to call my office if you have questions or comments about bills being considered in Olympia. I'm always happy to hear from you.
It's an honor to serve you!